Radicchio / chicory

radicchio.jpg

radicchio

the unsung hero of the mediterranean diet


noteworthy nutrients:

  • vitamin K
  • vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • copper
  • Manganense
  • Phosphorous
  • potassium
  • folate

Radicchio, not to be mistaken with red cabbage, comes into season in mid-Autumn. Its bitter leaves make it a less common addition to the seasonal kitchen outside of Italy, but don't underestimate this oblong power plant.

Radicchio is particularly important in keeping the heart strong. the exceptionally high vitamin K content in radicchio prevents the calcification of arteries, reduces inflammation and aids in regulating blood pressure (more on the K in a minute). High levels of the antioxidant lutein and zeaxanthin keep eyes strong, and perhaps most significantly, radicchio is an extraordinary cancer fighting food. In particular, the fructans (plant-based sugars) found in its purple leaves are responsible for preventing and treating early stages of colon cancer. Radicchio contains one of the highest concentrations of vitamin K found in one serving - vital to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in liver, colon and prostate. it also prevents blood clotting, speeds up the healing of fractures and injuries, and transports the calcium - we should be eating more of) - through the body. Other vegetables with high vitamin K include leafy greens, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.  

 

It's a match! Pair radicchio with:

  • avocado

  • pinenuts

  • radish

  • mung beans

  • chickpeas

  • beetroot

  • mint

  • ricotta

  • goats cheese

  • grapefruit

  • fig

  • parmesan

  • raisins

  • capers

  • pancetta

  • orange

  • Olives

  • apples

  • pear

  • pomegranate

  • gorgonzola

  • lemon

  • walnut

  • honey

  • apple cider vinegar

  • rocket

  • fennel